The growing season is in full swing, and more fresh produce is cropping up at local farmers’ markets every weekend. For local farmers, bringing all of those fruits and vegetables is not only a full-time job, but a full family endeavor.
At the Swore Family Farm, the seven member clan revolves around their farm. Wendy and Mike Swore run a 50 acre farm with their five kids, and while it is not quite enough to be their only form of income, they do sell everything they grow locally.
The five kids all work together to feed the chickens, gathering some fresh eggs. “No more going to Smith’s,” one of the kids said as he took two handfuls of eggs from the coop.
Wendy shows off a patch below their levy where they have started planting cucumbers. She and the kids run the farm during the day. Wendy said she loves the work and being able to teach her kids something valuable.
“I think it’s important that kids know how to work and I think it helps them have good values that they’re going to use throughout their entire life,” she said.
The family grows onions, tomatoes, herbs and strawberries in their two greenhouses, but their main crops are pumpkins and sweet corn. Mike shows off the 12 acres of sweet corn they have and said it is just about ready to harvest. Wendy picks it all by hand. Mike takes it to sell at the farmers’ market in Pocatello.
“About 20 percent of our sales are from the farmers’ market, the remaining is from people coming out here to the farm,” Mike said.
Mike works a day job to support the family, but said the farm acts like a second job. They make most of their sales through people just coming to the house to make purchases. As the five kids gathered on the pea patch to pull weeds, Mike’s point about buying local produce is clear.
“From the time that we pick it to the time when you can eat can be anywhere from a couple hours, but usually it’s 24 hours or less from the time that it’s actually harvested it and cooked it is within a day,” he said.
You can actually go to the Swore Family Farm and pick raspberries right now, along with buying produce from them. Find more information at http://www.sworefarms.com.